Florida Livestock Loss Prevention Committee
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Crumpy had a good mother that gave all the milk he could take,
so he grew fast as a young calf. Beef cows in Farmer Jones'
herd must give enough milk to raise good calves or else they
will find themselves going to the butcher right early.
When Crumpy was two days old he became infected with
screwworms, but Farmer Jones' boy, Henry, used a mixture of
drugs called Smear 62 that fixed up the screwworms in short
order. Screwworms will cause great loss if you don't watch out.
Many years ago Farmer Jones let his cows graze on the open
range, but he learned that he could have better cows and bigger
calves and prevent losses if he put them on improved pasture.
He talked this matter over with his county agent and found out
what kind of grass he should plant. Now he has a large area of
improved pasture for his cows and calves. He produces more
beef with fewer cows and they are more easily handled than
when his cows could graze only on native grass pastures.
Farmer Jones learned that he must fertilize his pastures if
he got best results from improved pastures. He learned that it
was necessary to apply lime, phosphate and potash to the soil
if he wanted to grow clover. On some of his land he needed
this same kind of fertilizer plus minor elements for improved
pasture development. He applied a complete fertilizer contain-
ing nitrogen, phosphorus and potash to many acres of his im-
proved pasture at the suggestion of his county agent.
Proper fertilization of pastures prevented much loss in cattle
on the Jones' farm.
Farmer Jones kiew that the grey and white sandy soils are
low in mineral matter. When his cows grazed on pastures that
had been established on these soils, he always kept a covered
box containing a mineral mixture that supplied lime, phosphorus,
common salt, copper, iron and cobalt to his cattle. Crumpy's
mother, half-sisters, cousins, and all of their calves could help
themselves to the mineral mixture whenever they wanted to.
If they don't have minerals they will often become unthrifty,
and here again loss will occur.
Last year Crumpy's first cousin, Sandy, died of Blackleg, all
because Farmer Brown did not believe in vaccinating cows
against any disease. Farmer Jones is a different kind of fellow,
so he vaccinated all of his calves, including Crumpy, when they
were two or three months old.
When Crumpy was five months old Farmer Jones branded
him on his right hind leg a few inches above the hock joint.
Farmer Jones knew that millions of dollars worth of high-grade
leather are lost each year from improper branding. If the
brands are located on the side, back, hip region or rump a large
portion of the hide is lost in leather trimmings, as the branded
area is worthless in making the better grades of leather. The
brand of the Jones' farm is Circle J.
When Crumpy was seven months old he was a fine, sleek,
beef-type calf that weighed about 350 pounds. Farmer Jones
had learned from experience that he should wean his calves
when they reach six to seven months of age, so that his cows
could put on some flesh to enable them to produce better calves
But when Crumpy was weaned was when his troubles began.
Crumpy was sold to Sycamore Jim, who was a cow trader and
not a real cattleman. He put Crumpy on a pasture that was
greatly overgrazed; and worst of all, the pasture was teeming
with internal parasites. It was not long until Crumpy was
heavily infested with stomach worms, hookworms and many
other kinds of internal parasites. He looked pot-bellied, was
thin and weak, and had a very rough coat. He felt badly all
One Sunday afternoon, Farmer Jones visited Sycamore Jim's
farm and asked how Crumpy was getting along. That question
hit Sycamore Jim right between his eyes, for he was ashamed
of the way he had treated that calf. When Farmer Jones saw
Crumpy, he said, "Here is your money back and $10 to boot.
I am taking that calf right home with me."
Farmer Jones put Crumpy in a pen for three days, during
which time he treated him with phenothiazine to kill the inter-
nal parasites and also sprayed him to kill the lice and to control
the horn flies that were about to eat him up.
When Crumpy was a yearling steer, Farmer Jones kept him
on one of the good pastures that he had developed. The pasture
consisted of a mixture of Pangola grass, Bermuda grass with
some clover on the southeast corner where the soil was adapted
to growing clover. Being on good pasture for five months,
Crumpy gained over two pounds a day. By September 1 he
weighed about 720 pounds and was sleek and fat. So, Farmer
Jones decided to take him to the market at Poppokee. Then
is when he had more trouble.
Unfortunately, Farmer Jones' boy, Bobby, was sick when
Crumpy was rounded up, so a green hired hand named Sanky
took over that morning. He chased Crumpy across the pasture
at full speed. Crumpy ran into the fence twice trying to get
away from that "firey" man. The last time he hit the fence
he fell flat on the ground. Sanky got off his horse and gave
Crumpy a hard kick with the heel of his boot right on the back.
Well, that caused a badly bruised area that had to be trimmed
out at time of slaughter.
Green-hand Sanky punched Crumpy several times with a
stick on his rump and hind legs when he was driving the year-
ling up the loading chute and onto the truck. These punches
caused bruises on the rump and rounds that meant real loss
before the carcass went to the coolers.
Sanky did not know that cattle trucks should always be
bedded with at least four inches of sand, so Crumpy and his
half-brothers had no "footing" in the truck as they went to
market. They slipped and slid all over the truck. This caused
Unfortunately, Sycamore Jim asked Farmer Jones to haul
one of his yearlings to market that day. Sycamore Jim's steer
was really wild and, worst of all, had horns. His horns were
small but awfully sharp. Well, this wild, nervous steer with
sharp horns just about gored clear through Crumpy's flanks
and sides. The inspector saw these bruises later.
Finally the truck got to the market and was backed up to
the unloading chute. Here again Sandy did not know what to
do. Instead of using a canvas slapper to move the yearlings out
of the truck, he climbed on the side of the truck and kicked
every steer on the back and loin. The heels of his boots caused
bruises on the parts of the body where the high-priced cuts
At the market, Old Snoot, the cow handler, took over. He
always drove the cows with a hickory stick about five feet long,
instead of using a canvas slapper. The punches Old Snoot gave
Crumpy on the spots that were already sore were just about
more than Crumpy could stand. He finally made it through
the sale. After the sale, he was loaded on a big truck owned
by a meat packer.
Being awfully tired, and having so many bruises already,
Crumpy "went down" in the truck. That was too bad, for he
was trampled upon from head to toes and got deeper bruises
all over his body.
Crumpy was hit, kicked and punched so many times that he
was bruised terribly. He wanted to make good steaks and roasts
that are in great demand by people everywhere, but on the left
is what his carcass looked like when the bruised areas were
trimmed out by the inspector.
If Crumpy had been handled properly from the time he was
rounded up to go to market until he reached the floor of the
packing plant, his carcass would have been free of bruises.
When his cousin Baldy was marketed last year, Farmer Jones
handled the yearling himself, and every person in the stock
yards and on trucks was careful. On the right is how Baldy's
carcass looked in the cooling room of the packing plant.
Here's the Story in a Nutshell:
Farmer Jones knew his beef cattle and provided good pasture.
He saw that a mineral mixture was supplied for his cattle at
all times. He believed in vaccinating and otherwise treating his
cattle for disease; however, when he left it up to a green hired
hand to handle Crumpy and when the yearling journeyed to the
slaughter !house, here are the strikes that accounted for losses:
1. Green hand Sanky should never have chased Crumpy all
over the pasture in rounding him up. He should have handled
the yearling gently.
2. In driving Crumpy up the loading chute, Sanky should
not have punched him on the rump and hind legs. He should
have used a canvas slapper.
3. Before loading Crumpy and his cousins, at least four inches
of sand should have been put on the floor of the truck as bedding
to provide "footing" and prevent the steers from slipping and
4. Sanky should never have kicked Crumpy on his back and
loin in driving him out of the truck. He should have used a
5. Farmer Jones should never have loaded Sycamore Jim's
nervous, horned steer with Crumpy and his cousins. One horned,
nervous steer will cause many bruises when loaded with other
6. Old Snoot, the cow handler, should never use a stick in
driving cows at the market. He should use canvas slappers.
7. Crumpy followed the same course that so many cattle
follow each day. He was mistreated by so many handlers until
he "went down" in the truck on his way to the packing plant.
The chances are that the truck was "overloaded." One of the
worst causes of bruises is "overcrowding" of cattle in trucks.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida, Florida State University, and United
States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating. H. G. Clayton, Director.